A Cabrini student was invited to present their studies on male rape at the Peace and Justice Studies Association conference.
“Rape culture is a really big deal in our society,” Abigail Pressimone, American and religious studies double major with a minor in social justice and one of the two girls sent by Cabrini to the conference, said. “What people don’t realize is that rape doesn’t just happen to women.”
The conference, which lasted from Thursday, Oct. 16 to Saturday, Oct. 18, was held at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego.
Pressimone conducted her studies last year as part of Dr. Alia Sheety’s and Dr. Nicholas Rademacher’s joint-proctored classes entitled Social Justice in Theory and Action, which is when Sheety sent in Pressimone’s studies that led to her invitation to San Diego this fall.
The study focused on three different aspects of male rape: rape by female perpetrators, person rapes and military rape, which is the most common male rape and is considered the “best kept secret” in the military.
According to Pressimone, often people believe men who rape other men are acting on homosexual tendencies, but rather it is to establish dominance and “to show control and power.”
Through her research, Pressimone found that very little research has gone into the study of rape as female perpitrators against men. The sole study on the topic was compiled in the early 1990’s but not published until almost two decades later in 2011.
The anonymous study, which questioned 171 female college students, found that 24 percent of the females questioned admitted to either raping or sexually assaulting a man in their lifetime. The way the women committed the rapes varied—8.9 percent cited the use of a lethal weapon, and another 43 percent of females used the influence of alcohol to follow through with their rapes or sexual assaults.
The lack of research that has gone into male rapes is pushing Pressimone to conduct her own research in the future.
“There is no change for the future of male rape if there is not awareness raised,” Pressimone said.